Wayne Paper Box Co. Cards

PICTURE POSTCARDS

MANUFACTURED BY THE WAYNE PAPER BOX & PRTG. CORP., FORT WAYNE, IND.

Information compiled by John R. Becker

INTRO:  By examining cards (and little else), I have drawn the following conclusions about the Wayne Paper Box and Printing Company of Fort Wayne, Indiana, which published numerous postcard views of small-town America from about 1933 to about 1948.  Wayne focused on publishing views that often provide the only contemporary postcard views of many buildings constructed during the depression.

BORDERS:  The views are easily recognized by the silver or gray (and white) borders.  Used examples suggest the following printing chronology:

Border color

Year of uses seen

White

Pre-1937

*No doubt the “silver” ink contained metallic content that was sacrificed for the war effort and gray borders became the norm.

Silver*

1937-43

Gray

1943-46

White

1947-48 Wayne (& Didier’s)

PUBLISHER NAME & CHRONOLOGY:  The publisher name divides the message side of the card in half.  The appear to be three corporate names involved: 

Serial Letter

Publisher:

A-E

“Ft Wayne Printing Co. ...” – the original company name?

C

“Wayne Calendar & Novelty Co.....”

C-O

“Wayne Paper Box...” – the main company of interest

Many of the higher letters

“William A. Didier and Sons.” Apparently the negs/plates were acquired c.1948 by William A. Didier and Sons, also of Fort Wayne, whose imprint appears on many of the later (reprinted, white-bordered) cards.

BACKS:  There are two different styles of message side: the manufacturer name reads upward on cards with a double "lined" header across the top.  The name reads downward on cards with "no" header.

SERIAL NUMBERS:  A serial number appears in the lower right-hand corner.  The alphabetical prefix seems to loosely correspond to the earliest dates seen used.  More data are needed to confirm the trend below:

Serial number “letter”

Earliest year date seen

Proposed original pub. date

A

1934

1933

B

1936

1934

C

1935

1935

D

1937

1936

E

1937

1937

F

1938

1938

G

1941

1939

H

1940

1940

I

# not seen, probably not used since it looks like a 1

J

1944

1943

K

1944

1944

L

1945

1945

M

1946

1946

N

1947

1947

O

1948

1948